Bryan does a great job of simply and effectively reminding us that designing is about solving problems, not about using gradients. I love the quote.
Effective design isn’t about Photoshop, software applications, email, project management, or even computers. It’s about service. Observe problems around your customers and use your insights to drive decision making. Make sure you listen. Repeat what you’ve heard and seen, then listen some more. The answers are already there, the questions are only rhetorical. Don’t get too distracted with your sketches, notes, and technology— remember to listen, observe, and think.